Shell Yeah! How to Host a Clambake at the Jersey Shore

New England's got nothin' on these Jersey clambakes.

Clams on table with corn and salt and pepper shakers

Photo: iStock/Alexandra Grablewski

Clambakes at the beach may seem more like a New England tradition than one found in the Garden State, but the Jersey Shore has plenty of options for this fun way to enjoy dinner on or near the beach with friends and family.

Shore Catering, based in Brick, will set up both lobster and clambakes for groups and events of all sizes. The company is full service and will bring everything you need, including linens, plates and cutlery, and will cook, serve, and even clean up after the feast.

“We set up a beautiful buffet and cook the lobsters on-site. We provide forks, crackers, everything you need for lobster, and we will even tie a bib on people,” says Patty Sisselman of Shore Catering. “It’s interactive and live action; they’re really fun to do at the Jersey Shore.”

Shore Catering sets up lobster and clambakes for parties, weddings and graduations, as well as at yacht clubs—but they don’t set up on the beach because they find it too difficult on the uneven surface. Shore Catering often sets up right next to the beach, such as at clients’ waterfront homes, says Sisselman, adding that sometimes people will take a plate and sit on the beach.

They service the entire state, from North Jersey down to Cape May, and have been offering clambakes for the past 36 years. Customers can also pick up precooked clambakes at their shop. Sisselman says they source their lobsters from Point Lobster in Point Pleasant.

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Jersey Joe’s Barbecue and Grill, based in Garwood, also offers clambakes and lobster bakes. “It’s a big hit in the summer,” says Tucker Williams of Jersey Joe’s, which has been in business since 2001. “We do events all over the state, with a lot down by the beach.”

Jersey Joe’s offers various packages, including the option to pick up all the fixings at their shop, as well as delivery and setup at your location. Full-service events include a raw bar with passed hors d’oeuvres, lobsters, clams and shrimp cocktail. They will set up clambakes on the beach, but ask that customers check with their towns first to find out if a permit is required, or if there are restrictions regarding location or time of day.

Jersey Joe’s also sets up everything for events, and will cook the food, serve it, and clean up. They’ll even pack up leftovers and leave them in to-go containers in case anyone gets hungry later, says Williams.

Other businesses that offer clambakes at the Shore include the Gourmet Deli in West Creek and Ronnie’s Catering and Bar-b-que Co. in Denville.

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